If you are convicted of DUI or DWI in Fairfax Virginia, your license will be suspended for one year if the DUI or DWI is a first offense or three years if it is a second offense. If you are not granted a restricted license or you drive outside the terms of your restricted license, two things will occur if you are caught driving: (1) You will be charged with a violation of Virginia Code Section 18.2-272 and (2) ASAP will file a probation violation with the judge that heard your original DUI/DWI case. What does this mean?
With respect to the new charge under 18.2-272, you are facing up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and an additional 12 month loss of license with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license (the law specifically provides that that are no restricted privileges for the 1 year loss of license on an 18.2-272 violation). Driving in violation of a license that was revoked or restricted in a DWI or DUI case is an offense that is taken very seriously by Fairfax & Northern Virginia judges and prosecutors. In fact, you are facing more significant consequences then you were when you were initially facing only a DWI charge. While the offense of driving on a revoked driver’s license is most commonly charged under Va. Code 18.2-272, it can also be charged as Va. Code 46.2-301 or 46.2-300. If certain other factors are present, the offense can be charged as a felony under 46.2-391. This offense is punishable, among other things, by up to 5 years in prison with a 1 year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
With respect to the probation violation, you are facing the complete revocation of your restricted driving privileges for the remainder of the term of the original DUI/DWI suspension and imposition of all the jail time and fine that was suspended under the terms of your original DUI/DWI conviction. Why? The reason is that when the judge convicted you of DUI/DWI, he suspended jail time and a fine conditioned on your good behavior and no further violations of law. If you are convicted of the new charge, you will have violated that order and the judge will punish you by revoking (imposing) the suspended portion of your jail time, fine and license suspension. Moreover, you will have violated a direct order of the original sentencing judge and, as you can imagine, that is not a good thing when you appear before that same judge to answer why. The consequences are significant and and can be much harsher than your original DUI/DWI.
Given the consequences of a conviction under 18.2-272, it is critical that any defenses or possible reductions be explored before a conviction occurs. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.